ASEEES Distinguished Contributions Award

2011 Citation Recipient


Norman Naimark

The 2011 Distinguished Contributions to Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies Award, which honors senior scholars who have helped build and develop the field through scholarship, teaching, and service to the profession, is presented to Norman Naimark.

One of the world’s preeminent historians of modern Central and Eastern Europe, Norman Naimark is the author of a remarkable range of books and articles that have carved new paths across the historical terrain of Russia, Germany, Poland, and the corridor between the Baltic and the Black Seas. Whether writing about Marxism in 19th-century Poland, the revolutionary movement in late Imperial Russia, the Soviet occupation of Germany, ethnic cleansing, or Stalin’s genocides, Professor Naimark has combined meticulous research with sober, evidence-driven analyses of fundamental issues of power and political violence. His work, expressed in accessible, lucid prose, has reached enthusiastic audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. Two books in particular have been widely recognized as definitive works in their fields: The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949 (1995) and Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe (2001).

Professor Naimark’s international reputation rests not only on his scholarship but on his record as a stellar teacher and devoted mentor. In some four decades of teaching, first at Boston University and, since the late 1980s, at Stanford University, he has won numerous teaching awards and cultivated several generations of devoted graduate students who have gone on to become some of the leading scholars in the field of East European history. Furthermore, he has rendered exemplary service to his home universities, to colleagues at universities around the world, and to the wider fields of Slavic Studies and European History. He has served on the editorial boards of countless leading journals, worked on fellowship selection committees at virtually every major funding organization in his field, and, not least, given generously of his talent as president of ASEEES.

Norman Naimark embodies academia’s “Triple Threat”: stellar and prolific scholarship, lasting impact as a teacher, and selfless service to the profession. As if that were not enough, he is also a gifted conversationalist, eager for intellectual exchange with colleagues young and old, and is universally known as a wonderful human being. ASEEES is pleased and honored to recognize his distinguished contributions to our field.